Lisa and Sheri (1972-3?)
So, back to The Friendships of Women and off to Chapter 1!
From Girlhood On, Gifted for Intimacy
Sometimes, I think... why can't I be normal like everyone else? And then I read a book like this that reminds me... I am like everyone else! In our friendships with women, we all have our insecurities, our betrayals, our expectations, our disappointments... and for me especially, the need to feel that I am "unique" to my friends.
I know why I have a need to feel "unique" and the reason I do have this need is not important. But how I respond to this need... aha! that is what I want to talk about... I realized something in my grief class earlier this year... I came to "a better understanding of what Ruth meant to me OR perhaps really how I feel about what I meant to Ruth. Being someone's 'beloved.' Not their 'only' beloved. But realizing that [Ruth had] the ability to express [her] love in such a way that it cannot be denied or rejected by the receiver." (excerpt from my personal grief journal)
I always tell people that it seemed like Ruth lived 93 years just to meet me. Like God prepped her and had her ready all that time just to minister into my life for one year. Wow! Did I feel like I was special or what? Absolutely... and that's my point.
One of the topics discussed in the book is "intergenerational" friendships. We normally gravitate to people who are similar to us. Our peers. Which is totally fine and necessary. But I ask you to consider the beauty of intergenerational friendships. There was 55 years difference between me and my Soul Mother Ruth. And because of this... she was able to love me with a maternal love that was so ingrained in her spirit. She had lived her life... and loved her Lord... and she gave a gift to me that was so precious... unconditional love. Sweet, ladies, so sweet!
I also love being with younger ladies, too. They are getting married... having babies... I get to knit baby sweaters... oops, I digress... they are fresh and young and open to receive inspiration or encouragement or just plain love from this older woman. (hee! hee!)
And of course, there are my Sisterchicks! Friends who are going through almost exactly what I am going through... and we commiserate together and our children have playdates together... or are the moms really having the playdates?
I know... I know... all of this takes time! But I say to you... it is so worth it. I challenge you... especially if you are lonely... or you are caught in friendships that are not particularly encouraging... start praying! Ask the Lord to prepare your heart to be the friend He would want YOU to be... and then, only after that, ask the Lord to bring a special sister-in-Christ into your life. Not one who will meet all your needs (only God can do that!), but one or two or three that will share this journey of life with you.
I'll be praying for you, too!